State Politics

NC House budget release to begin Thursday, votes scheduled next week

Lawmakers will begin formally reviewing sections of a House budget proposal Thursday, but the full document won’t be released until Tuesday, House Speaker Tim Moore said.

While the two chambers have sparred over how much to spend in past budgets, the House and Senate have both agreed this year to pass $22.9 billion budget proposals. That number is a 2.5 percent increase from the current year that ends in June – about half the size of the spending increase in Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget proposal.

“What you’ll see is a difference in how it’s allocated,” Moore told reporters Wednesday.

Seven subject-specific House budget subcommittees will meet beginning at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, and they’ll have copies of budget sections dealing with spending categories from transportation to education.

“You would have a really good idea of where we are tomorrow after those committees,” Moore said.

The complete budget, including tax and fee provisions, are to be made public Tuesday, and budget writers plan a news conference.

The main Appropriations Committee is expected to sign off on the budget next Wednesday, with House floor votes scheduled for Thursday and Friday of next week.

Moore said the House budget will include “tax relief,” but the tax cut will look different from what the Senate included in its budget.

The House tax cut is expected to be smaller than the Senate’s. While the Senate wants to reduce the personal income tax rate from 5.499 percent to 5.35 percent, the initial version of the House plan – released in March – would leave the personal income tax rate unchanged.

That House proposal would increase the standard deduction from $17,500 to $18,500 for a married couple filing jointly, with similar increases for other tax status categories.

House leaders estimated the plan would save personal income taxpayers a total of $64.5 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year and $124 million in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Businesses would save a total of $135.8 million per year.

The House hasn’t yet held a Finance Committee hearing on its tax proposal, but Moore said that hearing will happen next week.

Colin Campbell: 919-829-4698, @RaleighReporter